New Report Says FBI Paid Less Than $1 Million to Unlock San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

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Last week, FBI director James Comey hinted at how much the agency paid to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook's iPhone, saying it cost more than he will make in the next seven years and four months. The number worked out to around $1.3 million, as Comey's annual salary is $183,000. However, sources now tell Reuters that the amount was actually under $1 million.

iphone5c
Although the FBI says it will keep the technique it used to unlock Farook's iPhone 5c a secret, sources tell Reuters that the agency can use the method on other iPhone 5c's running iOS 9. The FBI has physical possession of the mechanism used to unlock the phone and does not need to pay the contractor any more money for further uses.

The contractor responsible for the method is a closely-held secret within the FBI, with Comey being in the dark himself, according to Reuters' sources. In mid-April, it was reported that the FBI hired "professional hackers," at least one of which is a gray hat researcher that sells flaws to governments, black market groups or surveillance companies.

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Top Rated Comments

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56 months ago
"can you do it for $999,999? I need to get my boss to sign off on anything a million or over"
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
Good thing I give half my paycheck to the government so they have plenty of money to pi$$ away.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
I can report that I paid less than 1 million dollars to unlock my iPhone SE.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
Again, false news reporting. The FBI does not pay anything. It's not their money to begin with. It's the American taxpayers' money.

How could anybody keep caring about this?

On the contrary, how could nobody realised that they (taxpayers) are sponsoring the FBI to do this whole thing in the first place?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago

The number worked out to around $1.3 million, as Comey's annual salary ('https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/') is $183,000. However, sources now tell ('http://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-encryption-idUSKCN0XQ032') Reuters that the amount was actually under $1 million.

Maybe they cut his salary to make the numbers work out.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
I'm not surprised. I figured he was thinking of the salary he actually sees, not what he makes before taxes. I was a bit surprised when MR assumed such precise math on the story in the first place.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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